Another view on the Doctor Who adventure ‘The Star Beast’ from Chlo Hickman

‘The Star Beast’ was everything I needed for the return of Doctor Who, while also feeling like a love letter to what came before, and being something for new viewers to latch onto. I’m so, so happy Russell T Davies (RTD) is running the show again. It was good to have a re-cap of the Doctor and Donna’s journey, especially as like I mentioned, there might be new viewers who might not know what has come before this episode, however I think the opening scene could have been released as a trailer or on social media or youtube. Something that I have to say after seeing this episode is that so much trailer footage we’ve seen for the three specials was from ‘The Star Beast’ alone, we know next to nothing about the two episodes that are left to premier. I’m sorry but this shows what a difference the showrunner makes: Apparently everything.

I’m going to mention the elephant in the room first. When they mentioned Wilf being no longer with us the Doctor looked like he was going to cry, I honestly nearly cried, and then Donna mentions that he’s in sheltered accommodation and Kate is taking care of him. I love these connections. I also love the fact that Wilf gave up his passion of star gazing to make sure that Donna never remembered the Doctor. I love Wilf so much, I wish he’d been in this episode.

I’m glad that they did make the 14th Doctor his own incarnation, though he does have similarities to 10, he’s a lot more open. He’s a lot more loving. The moment he explained how Donna was his best friend, saying he absolutely loved her it even shocked him. Then when he see’s the Meep he immediately says ‘He’s so cute’. It’s nice to see 10’s face on the 14th and have so much love to it after many years of that face dealing with the Time War. Things like this were a big struggle for 10 so much that he couldn’t even tell Rose how he felt, but it’s great to see the growth in the same face that struggled so much with it before.

I like that 14 said that missing Donna killed him the same number of times he’s regenerated since the last time he saw her. It’s the little things.

I loved the scene where Sylvia sees the Doctor through the glass and just says ‘You!’ And that whole conversation through the glass. That whole scene was chaotic but in the best way possible especially when Shaun comes in amongst all this madness everyone stops and looks at him and he just says ‘something smells nice’ and Sylvia goes ‘Tuna madras’.

These are the moments that take it to the next level and maybe this is to do with nostalgia to what I grew up watching, if you didn’t grow up watching Russell’s first era then maybe this wouldn’t seem as brilliant to you but to me these comedic moments is what makes Russell T Davies golden to Doctor Who.

Tennant and Tate’s chemistry is still phenomenal. They slipped right back into the old banter perfectly, it’s like they never stopped being on the show.

Even with her mind wiped Donna misses the action. I love the callback to the fact that Donna is always one step away from missing it, she’s always got her back turned, something amazing happens and she always just misses out on it. Its just peak Donna.

The nostalgia of these moments is what makes it so amazing.

The scene where Donna says that she gave her money away because its something he would do, my heart was in my throat, does she remember? Who’s he? And then all of a sudden slam on the brakes the Doctor hits his head on the back of the truck. Brilliant!  It builds you up and pulls you away and that’s what it kept doing, building it up and pulling you away until it built really really high and that was great. Later on she calls him the Doctor and Sylvia notices it, another hint dropped for us. When the Doctor has no choice he starts saying these trigger words. People are comparing this to the winter soldier because of the Disney deal that Doctor Who has but I see it more like in ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ when they needed to get into the old console room they used a password made up of visualising things/concepts.

I was honestly so scared that they killed Donna but then I remembered the trailers, we’ve seen them together in the other specials which kind’ve ruined it. Can’t complain too much though as I don’t want Donna to die.

Rose inherited the Meta-Crisis! This was something I theorised a while ago, but something I didn’t think of was them incorporating the whole binary situation in such a brilliant way. We know that word is important with Donna’s whole binary, binary, binary, binary situation and the non-binary, the whole the Doctor is male, female, and neither. Rose can’t figure out who she is because she’s so confused in her mind because the Doctor is both and neither, of course it was a shared meta-crisis so Donna didn’t have the full pressure of it and was shared with her daughter.

It was simply amazing writing, it’s things like this that make me wonder if Russell has this already planned from when he did series 4 in 2008.

But … Now don’t get me wrong here. I like where they went with it but I also don’t, I feel like the whole ‘we’ll just get over it’ situation is too easy. We’ve had this big build up, this question of what are we going to do, this pay off of oh wow it was split between her and Rose and thinking are we going to have this storyline of Doctor-Donna, Doctor-Rose, no we’ll just let it go. It was a little anticlimactic.

I love the way Sylvia was written in this episode. She wasn’t just tolerable in this episode, she was actually a bonus. I really enjoyed her character this time unlike in series 4. She was brilliant, especially when she was on the warpath and slapped the Doctor.

I really liked the scene where they are all trying to escape through the different people’s homes and we see the Meep’s little run, everyone’s completely oblivious that five people and an alien are sneaking through their homes. Peak Doctor Who! Its silly, its funny, but also serious.

I love that the Wrarth warriors have these kind of posh voices.

The contrast between the Wrarth and the Meep and how you look at them, you assume that the Wrarth are the baddies and then they have this posh and polite voice, I really enjoy that.

Shout out to Ruth Madley who portrays Shirley Anne Bingham. Its great to see someone in a wheelchair getting a cool role.

And so it starts. I hate that we have to expect ableist comments whenever a differently abled actor or character is featured somewhere. Its disgusting that someone can say who is or who isn’t disabled. As a disabled person myself this gets me so angry. Ruth Madley has Spina Bifida, this condition has different levels ranging from mild to severe. Just because she can move her legs doesn’t make her less disabled.

The amount of uneducated and disgusting comments being made are appalling to see, so if you are one of those people please just stop.

I am very confused by the sonic’s new abilities all of a sudden, though I will admit it is cool. The semi-see through screen out of no were that you can touch is like a projection, isn’t that a bit out of reach for the capabilities of the sonic screwdriver?

The sonic screwdriver is said to be this all-powerful tool but all we’ve seen it do is unlock doors, sometimes blow something up but now its also creating shields? Like I said, it is cool so maybe it’ll grow on me. If I’m being completely honest I think they had it right in the 80’s when they killed the sonic off, the sonic is an answer for everything so it makes it easy for the writers and makes it more predictable for the audience, obviously these abilities of the sonic screwdriver weren’t predictable but they were a bit too much.

The shields do take forever to make, and the screen is a projection of what the Doctor is reading from the sonic so it is kinda nice to visualize these things after all these years of the Doctor pretending to read it, so if I had to choose which I’d prefer of the new abilities I prefer the hologram projection.

What can I say about that TARDIS interior other than its beautiful! Oh my god. This is a bold statement coming from me but I think its beat Capaldi’s interior as my favourite. I love it. I love all the lights.

The TARDIS feels bigger on the inside again as opposed to a set.

I don’t think there wasn’t any acting necessary in that scene. What a masterpiece! Tennant running around like a giddy child made my day. Its one of my favourite scenes in the whole episode! The giddy reaction & the run around the interior. He was like a kid in a sweet shop. Does anyone else think this was Tennant and not the Doctor?

It’s truly a blast from the past. Honestly love this layout. It has the sleek design reminiscent of Hartnell along with Eccelston’s & Tennant’s era while the console is reminiscent of Smith/Capaldi’s era. It also looks like a modern updated version of the TARDIS  we saw in 1996.

Its such a beautiful TARDIS, I am so excited for the future of Doctor Who. This is literally perfect.

I don’t mean this as an insult to the other writers but I grew up with Russell’s era so when I say Doctor Who is back, I don’t mean to disregard what’s come before but to me, my childhood has just been reignited in 1 hour and I’m so excited for next week.

This has been better then what we’ve seen from the last few years for a number of reasons, one of them is the use of practical effects. Some of the fault of that goes to the pandemic and the over use of green screens. There were cars flipping over, explosions and fires and it was all practical! That’s what makes it Doctor Who to me. Its not about how visually beautiful can we make it on a computer, its how realistic can we make this? Lets flip a car on a street. That’s perfect. The special effects are great, Meep looked amazing but do it in small doses.

In conclusion, that was everything I hoped it’d be. Amazing writing, brilliant performances, and plenty of great moments. I missed RTD’s writing so much! 2005 came crashing back but it was all shiny, new and brilliant. From the score to the lines about Nerys and Suzie Mare; Russell made sure to submerge us back into his universe. This episode really showed us what we’ve been missing. I absolutely loved it.